Football: Magpies survive the threat of Ginola

Tottenham Hotspur 1 Newcastle United 1

THIS YEAR'S FA Cup may be lacking the holders, but the two clubs with 14 wins between them are still in the draw for the fourth round. A hectic and full-blooded tie at White Hart Lane, the sixth meeting between these opponents in the tournament's history, ended in a fair share, Steffen Iversen's 57th-minute goal for Tottenham neutralised by Gary Speed's equaliser 11 minutes from time.

The winners of Wednesday week's replay will go on to face either Sheffield United or Rushden & Diamonds at home. The prospect of a meeting between either of these Cup giants and the Vauxhall Conference side holds out a promise of the sort of magic that has characterised the competition throughout the century.

The Football Association may have done its best, in as many ways as they can think of, to diminish the stature of their showpiece, but the events on this pitch and others around the country at the weekend showed that the Cup can survive the most cack-handed administration so long as the players retain their belief in its importance.

Of the two managers, George Graham was the only one disappointed with yesterday's result. Tottenham comprehensively bossed the first half, and their supremacy should have produced more goals, even though all their chances came from a single source. David Ginola, the game's individual star, revelled in the opportunity to inflict further damage on his old club.

Roaming on either side of Steffen Iversen, he was creating havoc as early as the seventh minute, when he picked up the ball 35 yards from goal and clipped a shot which Steve Harper tipped over the bar.

Bobby Robson had deputed Laurent Charvet to shadow Ginola, and the confrontation between the shaven-headed citizen and the laughing chevalier looked like a replay of the French Revolution in miniature. After a quarter of an hour Ginola slid a wonderful ball inside Alessandro Pistone to Ruel Fox, whose cross brought a wonderful clearance from Warren Barton at the far post.

The partnership of Alan Shearer and Duncan Ferguson rarely suggested the existence of a genuine entente between the two strikers, although Ferguson should have given Newcastle the lead a minute into the second half when he found space between Sol Campbell and Luke Young on the edge of the six-yard box but could only meet Robert Lee's long cross with a header which hit the ground and bounced over the bar.

"Ferguson said he was unsighted when the ball came over Campbell," Robson said. "He normally scores from those with his eyes closed." In the event, that might have been a better option for the big Scot.

Ten minutes later, Ginola's efforts paid off. Taking Luke Young's throw- in on the right, he turned to face Charvet, shifted his weight to make a yard of space, and whipped in a right-footed cross which Iversen met at the near post with a header that left Harper helpless.

Robson's decision to take off a forward, Ferguson, and a defender, the Portuguese international Helder, and replace them with two attackers after 64 minutes started to change the balance of play. Stephen Glass and Kevin Gallacher began to make inroads, and when they were joined by Temuri Ketsbaia, replacing the busy Keiron Dyer, the Spurs defence began to rock.

It was no surprise when, after 78 minutes, Speed made a late run to meet Glass's inswinging corner from the right after 78 minutes.

Asked if his side had been the victim of complacency, Graham gave a disbelieving laugh. "Us, complacent? I don't think so," he said.

"Considering the number of changes we had to make through suspensions and injuries, I thought we played some nice football. I was delighted with the performance, but not the result. We dominated the first half, but we've got to learn to finish teams off."

Relieved at having avoided ejection from two cup competitions within a few days, Robson was pleased by the way his players had recovered from their unstinting but unavailing efforts against Roma in the Uefa Cup last Thursday. "We pulled this one out of the fire," he said. "Steve Harper made two miraculous saves in the first half. They kept us in the game. And Ginola did what he will always do. You're not going to stop him getting in two or three crosses. But I said to Laurent Charvet before the start, `Ginola can be the man of the match, or you can be'. And he did a stout job for us."

A good, honest FA Cup tie, then, firmly in the best tradition. But someone, somewhere should be worried by the fact that, for a fixture of such historical resonance and topical significance, there were 4,000 empty seats.

Goals: Iversen (57) 1-0; Speed (77) 1-1.

Tottenham Hotspur (4-1-3-2): Walker; Young, Perry, Campbell, Edinburgh (Vega, 81); Freund; Fox, Nielsen, Dominguez (Armstrong, 81); Ginola, Iversen. Substitutes not used: Clemence, Glove, Baardsen (gk).

Newcastle United (1-4-2-1-2): Harper; Dabizas; Barton, Charvet, Helder, Pistone; Lee, Speed; Dyer (Ketsbaia, 76); Shearer, Ferguson (Gallacher, 64). Substitutes not used: Glass, Hughes, Given (gk).

Referee: G Poll (Tring).

Bookings: Tottenham: Nielsen, Freund. Newcastle: Helder.

Man of the match: Ginola.

Attendance: 33,116.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Powdered colors are displayed for sale at a market ahead of the Holi festival in Bhopal, India
techHere's what you need to know about the riotous occasion
Arts and Entertainment
Larry David and Rosie Perez in ‘Fish in the Dark’
theatreReview: Had Fish in the Dark been penned by a civilian it would have barely got a reading, let alone £10m advance sales
News
Details of the self-cleaning coating were published last night in the journal Science
science
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
News
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Assistant / Credit Controller

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are an award-winning digit...

Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform Engineer - VMware / SAN / Tier3 DC

£45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform En...

Recruitment Genius: Purchasing Assistant

£10000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Ledger Assistant

£17000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable